Black Eye Galaxy (desktop/laptop)Click the im…

Black Eye Galaxy (desktop/laptop)

Click the image to download the correct size for your desktop or laptop in high resolution

M42: The Great Orion Nebula : Few astronomica…

M42: The Great Orion Nebula : Few astronomical sights excite the imagination like the nearby stellar nursery known as the Orion Nebula. The Nebula’s glowing gas surrounds hot young stars at the edge of an immense interstellar molecular cloud. Many of the filamentary structures visible in the featured image are actually shock waves – fronts where fast moving material encounters slow moving gas. The Orion Nebula spans about 40 light years and is located about 1500 light years away in the same spiral arm of our Galaxy as the Sun. The Great Nebula in Orion can be found with the unaided eye just below and to the left of the easily identifiable belt of three stars in the popular constellation Orion. The featured image, taken last month, shows a two-hour exposure of the nebula in three colors. The whole Orion Nebula cloud complex, which includes the Horsehead Nebula, will slowly disperse over the next 100,000 years. via NASA

Emission Nebula (desktop/laptop)Click the ima…

Emission Nebula (desktop/laptop)

Click the image to download the correct size for your desktop or laptop in high resolution

Russia May Renew ‘Satan’ Missile Launches to P…

Moscow (Sputnik) May 21, 2018

Russia may renew launches of the Voevoda (NATO reporting name Satan) intercontinental ballistic missiles to place spacecraft into orbit, a source in the Russian space industry told Sputnik.

In March, then-Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russia’s space industry was ready to use Satan missiles that will then be replaced with Sarmat missiles.

“The issue of use of
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Cement, extreme cold experiments head to space…

Tampa (AFP) May 21, 2018

Food for astronauts, new space gardening gear and experiments to test extreme cold and how cement forms in weightlessness blasted off Monday to the International Space Station aboard Orbital ATK’s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft.

The white Antares rocket, emblazoned with a US flag, rumbled and roared into the dark night sky over Wallops Island, Virginia at 4:44 am (0844 GMT).

The spacecraft
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First Interstellar Immigrant Discovered in the…

London, UK (SPX) May 21, 2018

A new study has discovered the first known permanent immigrant to our solar system. The asteroid, currently nestling in Jupiter’s orbit, is the first known asteroid to have been captured from another star system. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

The object known as ‘Oumuamua was the last interstellar interloper to hit the First Interstell
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NASA Sends New Research on Orbital ATK Mission…

NASA / Orbital ATK – Cygnus OA-9 Mission patch.

May 21, 2018

Image above: The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, May 21, 2018 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s ninth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Image Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani.

Astronauts soon will have new experiments to conduct related to emergency navigation, DNA sequencing and ultra-cold atom research when the research arrives at the International Space Station following the 4:44 a.m. EDT Monday launch of an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft.

Cygnus lifted off on an Antares 230 rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Orbital ATK’s ninth cargo mission under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. The spacecraft is carrying about 7,400 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 investigations underway on the space station.

U.S. Commercial Cargo Craft Heads to the Space Station

NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Ricky Arnold will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Cygnus when it arrives at the station Thursday, May 24. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 3:45 a.m. Installation coverage is set to begin at 7:30 a.m.

Included in the cargo in the pressurized area of Cygnus is a centuries-old method of celestial navigation. The Sextant Navigation investigation will explore the use of a hand-held sextant for emergency navigation on missions in deep space as humans look to travel farther from Earth. The ability to sight angles between the Moon or planets and stars offers crews another option to find their way home if communications and main computers are compromised.

Monitoring crew health and the biological environment of the space station, and understanding long-term effects of space travel on both, are critical to NASA’s plans for long-duration, deep space exploration. The Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST) study is the agency’s next step toward advancing in-space DNA sequencing technologies that can identify microbial organisms living on the space station and understanding how the DNA of humans, plants and microbes are affected by microgravity. BEST will use a process that sequences DNA directly from a sample, with minimal preparation, rather than using the traditional technique of growing a culture from the sample.

Orbital ATK Commercial Resupply. Image Credit: Orbital ATK

In the realm of modern physics, the new Cold Atom Lab (CAL) on Cygnus could help answer some big questions. CAL creates a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space, then uses lasers and magnetic forces to slow down atoms until they are almost motionless. In the microgravity environment of the space station, CAL can observe these ultra-cold atoms for much longer than possible on Earth. Results of this research could lead to a number of improved technologies, including sensors, quantum computers and atomic clocks used in spacecraft navigation.

Cygnus is scheduled to depart the station in July with several tons of trash and burn up during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, over the Pacific Ocean. The vehicle is named after James “J.R.” Thompson, a leader in the aerospace industry.

For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,400 research investigations from researchers in 103 countries.

Related links:

Orbital ATK: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/orbital.html

Commercial Resupply: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html

Sextant Navigation: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7646

Biomolecule Extraction and Sequencing Technology (BEST): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7687

Cold Atom Lab (CAL): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7396

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video (NASA TV), Text, Credits: NASA/Kathryn Hambleton/Sean Potter/JSC/Gary Jordan/Orbital ATK.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch
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UAE Space Agency conducts MeznSat preliminary …

Abu Dhabi (UAE) May 21, 2018

The UAE Space Agency, working in partnership with Khalifa University of Science and Technology and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), has reviewed the preliminary design of the MeznSat 3U CubeSat, which is being developed to monitor and study the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) was held during a meeting at Masdar Institute, and Chaired by Khaled Al H
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